Budapest 2018: Round of 14 preview

No more training flights, it’s time to race!

Bolton begins the day's racing

The wind has dropped and it's a lot smoother in the track so the pilots have got no excuses, they can all win. Here's how they line up for the Round of 14...

Heat 1
Cristian Bolton vs Pete McLeod
Bolton was really happy with his Qualifying yesterday and he feels he can improve on his time. He will need to fly hard and fly clean to get through, but it's in his grasp. McLeod will have fond memories of Budapest. He won Qualifying here last year and finished second in the race. He has the advantage of seeing Bolton fly first. McLeod also has another advantage as they flew against each other in Chiba and he beat Bolton in that heat.

Heat 2
François Le Vot vs Matt Hall
These two have raced against each other four times in the past and Hall has won every time. However, we're seeing a reinvigorated Le Vot with a new team member and a raceplane with a host of new modifications. He's the strongest he's been in his Master Class career. Hall wants to keep his place at the top of the standings and has the skills to do it. Hall very rarely makes mistakes and hasn't stretched himself yet, so he will be looking to progress to the Round of 8.

Heat 3
Juan Velarde vs Mika Brageot
These two have never had a head-to-head until now. Velarde has struggled with the pace here, but he has in the past been able to pull it out of the bag on Race Day, and with these calmer conditions he could go through. Brageot is now in his second Master Class season and improving with every race. His goal at the start of the season was to be in the Final 4. He's finished fifth in the last two races, could today be his time?

Heat 4
Nicolas Ivanoff vs Petr Kopfstein
Ivanoff has been open and honest about how he's not performing as well as he would like this season. The French pilot is struggling with form and can't seem to get the best out of himself in the track. It's unfortunate then that he will be flying against Petr Kopfstein, who has found form just at the right time. The Czech pilot had a slow start to the season, but after some heavy aircraft and personal maintenance he is looking sharp and will think now is his time to turn his season around.

Heat 5
Ben Murphy vs Kirby Chambliss
Yesterday in Qualifying Murphy looked like a man that flies better when angry. His smoke system failed, giving him an automatic penalty. When he was told this after his first run he was visibly annoyed in the cockpit, but he managed to knock more than two seconds off his time. And without that penalty he would've been a lot higher in the rankings – he needs to find that form again today to progress. Chambliss won here last year and will be confident he can do it again. These two were close in Qualifying so it could go either way. It's one to watch.

Heat 6
Michael Goulian vs Yoshihide Muroya
This is the heat of the round – second vs third in the standings. Goulian had a terrible run in Qualifying. He exceeded the G-limit in his first run and had to return to the airport for a G-inspection, putting him bottom of the timesheet. Today will see if he's able to recover from this and concentrate on his Round of 14 flight. Muroya topped FP3 and was second in Qualifying so he's found his form at the right time and is pushing forward. This will be close – don't be surprised if the pilot that finishes second in this heat is the Fastest Loser and goes through to the Round of 8.

Heat 7
Matthias Dolderer vs Martin Sonka
Dolderer will not be competing today due to illness (more here), so Sonka just has to fly a valid round to progress to the Round of 8. However, he will want to set a quick time so he can have an easier matchup in the Round of 8.

The Round of 14 begins at 13:00 local time. Catch every second of the action HERE.